Elbow: Space That Fills

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Space That Fills

Yesterday I spent over a couple of hours with my ex-wife. I went to pick up some stuff and we ended up going through boxes of our life together. Every past memory had been locked up and kept semi-hidden until we ripped open the boxes and forced ourselves to look at the remaining peices. There's so much to say and so much to process. The lines between husband and wife were cloudy, friends and confedants, enemies and strangers were all bleeding together. Within the walls of the garage where everything was kept from view we brought in light and let out some darkness.

I saw my ex-wife for the first time yesterday in like two months. I was aching to just look at her in the flesh without phones or wireless internet. We hugged and paused. We asked questions and made small talk. We were friendly and we were comfortable. The moving on from that moment was quite huge for me. I invisoned myself having a breaking point and a continued existentical meltdown. I was terrified to see her, to speak with her, to look at our old couch again, to pet the cat, to touch her arm. I was scared that I was going to feel too much. But I didn't.

I felt so grateful that I had her as a friend. Our marriage together was amazing, we were wonderful friends together and there was much to rejoice about. And I feel like even now, more than ever there is more to look forward to. There are more moments for us to have and while different, they will be just as rich. I can't say how much I miss her, how much I love her and how much she touches me to my core. And spending those few hours with her yesterday was magic.

It was a chance for us both to look back at the time we've been separated and see how far we've come, how much we've progressed and how many things are good. Box by box we opened up a memory and laid it to rest. We threw some things away, we cleaned out sections and we exchanged gifts like it was a special occasion. Some boxes were broken and torn while others were crisp and new. Contents were visible but what was staring us in the face was a life that neither of us owned. We held posessions in our hands and moved through the unspoken like it was natural to do so.

We could have talked about a lot. She could have gotten angry. I could have ran away, but there was more honest peace and exciting optimisim in yesterdays conversation with my wife than I ever dreamed there would be. My heart is no longer feeling the pain. I still cry. I still look for ways to repair damage, but I'm seeing the shift in boxes and now that the contents are out in the open and distributed evenly, my mind is more at ease.


Blogger Beck said...

Wow!... I mean, WOW!

You are breaking my heart! You aren't the only one crying... You are giving face to a process that is typically so personal that one does not see it without experiencing it. Thank you.

Your sensitivities are tremendous. In the end, you should write a synopsis of the lessons learned of the process of: "How to end a marriage with love and compassion while remaining best friends".

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the first time for me to read your blog. But I was wanted to tell you that I am in the same position as you. My wife and I are getting divorced and infact went through some boxes on monday of this week. We are still close friends and infact probably even closer than when we were together. So it can happen a divorce and still remain friends....and it doesn't discount the hurt and pain because it is there forsure. Just wanted you to know you are not alone.


7:56 PM  
Blogger Clark said...

I am so proud of you. I just love you and I think your fierce pursuit of authenticity is so ennobling to read about and behold. You are an amazing man.. and I only wish I knew how to say it in Cantonese. Live your life elbow.

1:14 AM  

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